• Mon. Mar 20th, 2023

Fury over Bali’s proposal to ban tourists from riding motorbikes

After a particularly bad few months for nasty accidents and foreigners acting up on two wheels in Bali, the province’s Governor Wayan Koster has had enough.

After a spate of tourists behaving badly on motorbikes, Governor Koster has reportedly asked for the legal ministry’s support in revoking visas of tourists caught riding motorbikes in Bali, Escape reports.

Governor Koster said at a press conference that foreigners should stay off the bikes “to ensure quality and dignified tourism.”

Bloomberg reports that “Koster has sought the legal ministry’s support to let Bali revoke visas if any foreign tourists are found riding motorbikes, or if they’re found committing other wrongdoings like illegally working or misusing stay permits.”

The news has sent shockwaves through social media, with some tourists furious at the prospect of no longer being able to get muffler burns and road rash.

On Twitter one user wrote: “I visit Bali every year but if the scooters are banned I will not coming back for sure.”

Others wrote things like: “Imagine if we banned selective people from the main mode of transport” and “revenue raising.”

Yet others have blamed locals for setting a bad example.

One wrote: “Can’t speak for Bali, but here I Jakarta at a guess > 60% don’t wear a helmet. It does give the idea it’s all good.”

Another said: “To be honest, the locals need to give good example. Many local people still ride motorcycle without wearing helmet.”

One local media outlet wrote disbelievingly: “So now it’s the locals’ fault?”

They weren’t the only ones outraged by the outrage. Many people applauded the Governor’s proposal, with various comments like “it’s about time,” “they’re [the tourists are] arrogant” rolling in.

Another tweeted: “Foreign tourists on motorcycles are a menace on the roads, especially western tourists [who] lack nuances, alertness & awareness of driving and traversing the congested roads. Can’t master the art of zigzagging and handling of motorcycles and it’s a life skill experience.”

It’s worth noting that – at this stage – the ban is not in place. It’s more of a proposed rule that the Governor spoke about in a press conference.

One motorbike rental business owner in Denpasar told local media outlet Coconuts that the proposed prohibition would hurt rental businesses.

They also said that forcing foreign tourists to rent cars would cause even more congestion on the roads.

“If the problem is unruly tourists on motorbikes, then the solution would be to tighten the requirements for them to rent and apply them uniformly,” he told Coconuts.

“In addition to that, there should be regular checkpoints and strong law enforcement against traffic violators, both foreign and local.”

Talk of a motorbike ban comes after Bali also proposed a plan to crackdown on how tourists behave – including how they dress.

This article originally appeared on Escape and was reproduced with permission

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